Saturday, February 25, 2012

Growing up: cupcakes, rainbows, asbestos, and Annabelle

Zoë is now three years old. My friends have warned that three is a tricky age, but so far so good. Well, almost. The days leading up to and including the birthday were a little ... icky. Actually, let's go back to the birthday party, which was actually the weekend before (Feb 11).

Zoë had a party at a music center, with her buddies from school and a very nice music instructor, Sherri, who chose Zoë's favorite music -- songs about trains, "Roy G. Biv" about rainbows, and old classics like "Hokey Pokey". Only... after a relatively calm (read: boring!) Winter, the weather on this random Saturday in February decided to entertain us with all heaven had to offer: snow, ice, sleet, ... all offered in dark, pelting fashion at exactly the time that Zoë's party was supposed to begin. So... things did not go exactly as planned.

The biggest lessons I have learned in parenting: 1. Make plans, or you are sure to fail. 2. Always expect plans will be demolished in the most unexpected ways. Hey-- I can't complain that life isn't spontaneous and interesting! Anyway, about half the guests made it and all had fun, ate cupcakes, and made music. See the pictures here (press play to see the whole slideshow! There are a couple of videos too. The pictures aren't great because of the flurry of activity and low light conditions -- again, I blame the weather!))

Upon returning from the successful party, we find an email awaiting us at home. Zoë's school will be closed on Monday because someone drilled in a ceiling tile where they were not supposed to and ... now there was asbestos exposure and the clean up and testing would close the center for the weekend and Monday too. Well... embracing spontaneity, Zoë and I spend the morning back at the MusiKids center -- since their open play was on Monday morning, we had never been here (besides for her birthday party) and here was a shining opportunity. In anticipation of turning three (as we were informed, "3" is almost grown up and Zoë is almost as big as us, we are "4", after all. Eh... who's counting those extra 30 years anyway?), she put her coat on by herself... as you can see here, we are still mastering some of our skills before becoming totally independent. Kudos for trying! We had a super time with bubbles, and meeting new friends, and climbing and silly time. As for work... Daddy came home in the afternoon and Mommy practiced super-efficiency.
Then, Zoë's birthday and Valentine's Day: cupcakes are ready for school party, but Zoë is lying on the floor saying that she doesn't want to go to school. Of course! It's because Mom was so much fun yesterday, right? Well... after checking all body parts, nothing seemed amiss, except general lacklusterness. I was reluctant, but decided, maybe she needed a bit more sleep. But... in about an hour, she was burning with 104 degree fever. Hmmm... off to the Dr. and the rest is too sad for documenting here among her well-wishers. As I like to put it, we spent this day much like her first one on this Earth -- Mom and Dad worrying for her health, lots of snuggling and cuddling, and sleeping and resting. With the gift of Tylenol, we managed a sad-ish birthday celebration complete with homemade cupcakes (those never made it to school after all) and payesh (yup, somewhere in this weekend, I managed to made a yummy batch of this!), candles and gift opening. Plans 400-410 for this day out the window...(somewhere in that was some silly New Year's resolution about "cutting back on sweets"... someone had to eat the cupcakes and pudding and make space on the counter and in the fridge! Matt helped too.)

This is getting to be a long birthday post, but wait! The story has a happy ending, no fear. Zoë's school came through asbestos-free, Zoë recovered fever-free (and soon enough, Mom and Dad through stages made it too through their respective illnesses-- damn Global warming and the crazy weather. Hello Daffodils... shouldn't you still be sleeping? Go away Cheery Blossoms-- not yet, I say! Oh look, it's hailing now. sigh.)
Matt and I have been compiling our favorite random Zoë-isms... today alone, there were two gems (you can't make this sort of thing up!) --

1. Annabelle, author extraordinaire:

Z: Choo- choo baby needs to make a card for Annabelle.

Me: Who's Annabelle?

Z: She's the Children's book author.

Me: (feeling awfully out of the loop... yikes, how did I miss this great celebrity?)Oh yeah? What did she write?

Z: Oh. She writes about Choo choo baby.

Me: (slap head with palm... right! How could I forget?! The imaginary author... that Zoë, the wise, worldly, and well-read three year old, invented over breakfast this fine day...) Aha! hmmm... I can't remember the name of her book. What was it again?

Z: (with some attitude, if I might add)Welllll... Car and Bus -- that's the name.

How silly of me to forget... the adventurous Choo choo baby explores the world in car and bus, but of course. Naturally.
2. Later, as we are getting ready to nap, Mommy and Zoë are being affectionate.

Me: Zoë, have a good nap and I love you.

Z: (patting Mommy's face gently)Yes, I love you too. Always remember to love yourself.

Me: Wow. That's really nice. Who taught you that? Did someone say this to you?

Z: (And I know this will be shocking to all of you... )Choo choo baby.

I really need to start writing up these stories in a book. Adventures of Zoë and Choo choo baby., my pseudonym would be... Annabelle.